|One year later, Brad Stevens has no regrets when comes to Rajon Rondo trade||12.18.15 at 9:03 pm ET|
Jae Crowder has left his mark on the Celtics and their coach.
Having been one of three players traded to the Celtics in the Dec. 18, 2014 deal with the Mavericks ‘ joining Brandan Wright and Jameer Nelson (neither of whom are still on the team) — Crowder had nothing to lose and everything to prove.
“I knew people had told me they thought he could be a pretty good player,” said Stevens before his team’s game against Atlanta at TD Garden Friday night. “I knew he was tough when he played at Marquette. And I knew nothing else. So, I’m really happy he was included in that trade.”
Crowder came in as a blank slate, but has defined himself as one of the Celtics’ most important players since arriving in the Rondo deal.
Coming into Friday night, the Celtics had gone 43-40 in games Crowder has appeared. In those games, Crowder is averaging 10.4 points per game, playing in 25 or more minutes 55 times. Only Avery Bradley and Evan Turner has seen more time on the court for the C’s over that span.
Stevens admits, “I didn’t know that he could do all that he could do.”
This year, Crowder has averaged 36 percent from beyond the 3-point line, while totaling 12.5 points and 1.96 steals per game (9th best in the NBA).
Meanwhile, Rondo’s teams — Dallas and Sacramento — have gone a combined 35-35 when the point guard has played, with his individual results (both on and off the court) getting mixed reviews.
It has all helped put the former Celtics star ever further in the rear-view mirror for Stevens and his team.
“We started to see, like, hey, there’s a guy [in Crowder] that can do a little bit more than stand in the corner and shoot,” the coach said.
|4 keys for Celtics to beat Warriors||12.11.15 at 3:06 pm ET|
Don’t let the Celtics fool you, this isn’t just another game.
The Celtics (13-9) have a chance to beat the undefeated Warriors (23-0) Friday night at TD Garden, and of course it’s not going to be easy. Reigning MVP Steph Curry is making a case for this year’s honor and leading the league’s best offense. Avery Bradley is going to do his best to pester Curry — make him uncomfortable, keep a hand in his face — but if the Celtics do knock off the Warriors it’s not going to depend on that.
The Warriors are a great team with a lot of weapons. If the Celtics are to pull off the upset, here are four things that would go a long way toward helping that happen.
1. Isaiah Thomas comes through with his season-best effort
No other Celtic has been more consistent than Isaiah Thomas. He’s averaging a team-high 21 points and leads the team in assists (6.3). The Celtics need a big night from their best scorer. If Thomas scores 30 or more points against the Warriors, it’s going to free up guys like Bradley and Jae Crowder. He’s only scored 30 points once this season (against the 76ers) but if there’s one Celtic you have to bet is going to score 30, it’s Thomas. Lately he’s been the second-half hero for the C’s. That has to end Friday night. Thomas needs to get it going early.
2. The C’s control the boards
Jared Sullinger has been a force on the glass lately, grabbing 36 rebounds in his last two games. But he is going to have his hands full guarding Draymond Green. Sullinger needs to out-rebound Green and keep him outside of the paint. The Celtics also are going to need all the second-chance points they can get. The C’s managed 17 second-chance points on 13 offensive rebounds against the Bulls, and they should be able to do the same against Green, Andrew Bogut and the Warriors.
|Studs and Duds: Avery Bradley, Celtics blow out Nets||11.20.15 at 9:54 pm ET|
For the second straight game, the Celtics grabbed a big first-half lead — only they held it this time.
The Celtics outscored the Nets 68-40 in the paint and shot 58.6 percent from the field, blowing out the Nets, 120-95. The C’s led by 24 at the half (66-42) and opened up a 30-point advantage in the third quarter — their biggest lead of the night. Avery Bradley‘s 21 points off the bench led five Celtics in double figures. Jae Crowder (19), Isaiah Thomas (18 points, 9 assists), Evan Turner (12 points, 7 assists) and David Lee (11 points) also reached double digits.
For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.
STUD OF THE NIGHT: Jae Crowder.
Crowder found his offense early and often against the Nets. After scoring 11 points in the first quarter, he finished the night with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He also pulled down five rebounds and had three steals.
DUD OF THE NIGHT: Joe Johnson.
Johnson couldn’t find a rhythm and was minus-19 on the night. He finished with three points on 1-of-5 shooting.
|Jae Crowder commits greatest turnover in NBA history||11.04.15 at 8:36 pm ET|
If the Celtics were going to commit another turnover before the half, at least they made it the greatest one ever.
With a second left before the break, Celtics forward Jae Crowder tried to find Jared Sullinger with a fullcourt inbounds pass, except he found the bottom of the cup instead. The NBA should probably make a rule that if anyone ever does this again, everyone calls it a night — Celtics win. A proverbial mic drop. Instead, it was Pacers ball.
Dopest turnover of all time. https://t.co/SA64nLPakO
‘ RJML (@RyanJayLouis) November 5, 2015
The turnover marked the C’s 13th of the half, and Indiana took a 49-43 lead into the locker room.
|Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades: 7. Goodbye, Rajon Rondo||09.24.15 at 10:24 am ET|
Over the next month, we’ll chronicle the 25 most consequential trades of Danny Ainge’s tenure as Celtics president of basketball operations. When we’re done, we’ll have a better understanding of Ainge’s philosophy and success rate on the trade market. Perhaps by the end of this exercise we’ll even feel better about the future of this rebuild. At the very least, we’ll have something interesting to debate while we wait for training camp to open.
- No. 25: Hello, Sebastian Telfair.
- No. 24: Goodbye, Semih Erden.
- No. 23: Hello and goodbye again, Antoine Walker.
- No. 22: Hello, Ricky Davis.
- No. 21: Goodbye, Walter McCarty.
- No. 20: Hello, Keyon Dooling.
- No. 19: Hello and goodbye, Courtney Lee.
- No. 18: Hello, Kelly Olynyk.
- No. 17: Hello, Nate Robinson.
- No. 16: Hello, Brandon Bass.
- No. 15: Hello, Wally Szczerbiak.
- No. 14: Goodbye, Jiri Welsch.
- No. 13: Hello, Leon Powe.
- No. 12: Goodbye, Jeff Green.
- No. 11: Hello and goodbye, Jordan Crawford.
- No. 10: Goodbye, Antoine Walker.
- No. 9: Hello, Kendrick Perkins.
- No. 8: Hello, Tony Allen.
With that out of the way, here’s No. 7 on the list of Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades.
Dec. 18, 2014: Goodbye, Rajon Rondo.
|Report: Celtics re-sign Jae Crowder to 5-year, $35 million deal||07.02.15 at 12:01 am ET|
According to Shams Charania of RealGM, the Celtics have re-signed forward Jae Crowder to a five-year, $35 million deal.
Crowder, who made a name for himself this past postseason, was traded to the Celtics from the Mavericks as part of the Rajon Rondo deal last season. In 57 games with the Celtics, he averaged 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds.
The Marquette product has averaged 5.8 points over his first three seasons in the league.
For more Celtics news, check out weei.com/celtics.
RFA Jae Crowder has reached agreement on a five-year, $35 million deal with the Boston Celtics, league sources tell RealGM.
‘ Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 2, 2015
|To keep or not to keep: What to do with Celtics||04.29.15 at 11:14 pm ET|
Celtics coach Brad Stevens and team president Danny Ainge aren’t going anywhere. That much we know. Everyone else on the roster is up for debate. Certainly, nobody is untradeable, so let’s attempt to project how these C’s players fit into Ainge’s puzzle this coming summer with a game of ‘to keep or not to keep.’
BRANDON BASS (unrestricted free agent)
Through all the upheaval, Bass was the rock of the 2014-15 Boston Celtics. Built like a Chevy truck, the 6-foot-8, 240-pound big man appeared in all 82 games for the second straight season. (He’s missed just eight games since arriving in Boston four years ago.) Splitting his time between starting and reserve roles, Bass produced the best per-minute numbers of his career this past summer while averaging the fewest minutes of his Celtics tenure (23.5). He remains one of the league’s elite midrange shooters and double-handed dunked his way to a decent percentage around the rim, but concerns about him linger.
He’s neither an exceptional rebounder nor rim protector defensively — an issue that killed the Celtics against the Cavaliers — and does not fit Stevens’ floor-stretching mold offensively. There wasn’t much of a trade market for an undersized power forward who brings few of the skills required for such players in today’s NBA at $6.9 million, and his disappearance in the playoffs may have sealed his fate at any rate.
Verdict: Not to keep.
AVERY BRADLEY (signed through 2017-18 for $8.3 million per season)
Playing the most minutes of his career, Bradley took a slight step back from a stellar offensive season in 2013-14, when he shot 40 percent from 3-point range. Still one of the league’s best marksmen from midrange, his 3-point percentage dipped to 35 percent this year. Not a playmaker by any stretch, Bradley was asked to shoulder a less-than-ideal offensive load in the absence of capable scorers, and his efficiency would benefit from improved offensive talent easing the defensive pressure around him.
As for his own defense, Bradley returned to bulldog form, hounding Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving throughout the first round. Irving averaged 25.1 points per 100 possessions on 38 percent shooting opposite Bradley in the series and 41.2 points per 100 possessions on 58 percent shooting with him on the bench. That brand of on-ball defense, particularly when paired with Marcus Smart’s similar skill set, is invaluable.
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